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With Its Latest Record in Hand, Disney Truly Is the Mouse That Roared

By Danny Vena - Jul 30, 2019 at 8:47AM

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Its latest movie re-imagining helped push the company's total global box office into the stratosphere.

After more than three years with its stock stuck in neutral, it seems Disney (DIS -0.70%) can do no wrong. The House of Mouse has already produced several movies this year that have accumulated more than $1 billion each on box office receipts, and the company now has bragging rights to the highest-grossing film in history. This has helped push the stock up more than 45% since late last year. 

If that weren't enough, the company has now broken the record for all-time global box office achieved by any studio, raking in $7.67 billion in ticket sales, eclipsing its own record of $7.61 billion set by Disney in 2016 -- and there are still five months remaining in 2019. 

A baboon hand holds up a lion cub.

The photo-realistic re-imagining of The Lion King put Disney over the top. Image source: Disney.

A heroic achievement

Disney has been on fire this year. Of the four movies that have grossed more than $1 billion in ticket sales, three -- Captain Marvel, Aladdin, and Avengers: Endgame -- belong to Disney. The fourth, Spider-Man: Far From Home is owned by Sony, but was co-produced by Disney-owned Marvel Studios. Two other Disney titles -- The Lion King and Toy Story 4 -- are on their way to topping the $1 billion benchmark. The five Disney titles alone have netted more than $6.8 billion in ticket sales.  

On another important note, Avengers: Endgame recently achieved the record for all-time worldwide box office for a movie, generating $2.79 billion.

More records are sure to fall

If The Lion King and Toy Story 4 are successful in their climb to $1 billion at the box office -- and many believe it's just a matter of time -- Disney will also set a new watermark for the number of films released in one year by a single studio to surpass $1 billion plus in ticket sales -- vaulting past a record it set back in 2016 with four.

With the recent acquisition of Fox studios under its belt, Disney now accounts for about 45% of the more than $16 billion that consumers have spent at the movies.

That percentage could also rise. Disney has a number of potential blockbusters waiting in the wings, including Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. When Frozen was released in 2014, it became the highest grossing animated film of all time, ending its run with more than $1.27 billion in receipts. Likewise, when Star Wars: The Last Jedi was released in 2017, the previous chapter in the Skywalker saga earned $1.33 billion, while its predecessor -- Star Wars: The Force Awakens -- topped $2.07 billion.

Disney is counting on the latest installments of these successful franchises to add to its growing tally.

More irons in the fire

At Comic-Con early this month, Disney laid out the next two years for the Marvel Cinematic Universe -- 11 upcoming projects, with six feature films and five series scheduled to debut on Disney+, the company's upcoming streaming offering.

Disney's unrivaled treasure trove of intellectual property, which includes Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and Disney studios, combined with the recently acquired assets of Fox, provides the company with an unparalleled collection of stories and characters that will help the House of Mouse dominate the box office for years to come.

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